Until the last century, mortality rates during childbirth were very high, so women were encouraged to include their own shroud in their ‘marriage chest’.
Fortunately, these days, and in this country at least, maternal death rates are low, and this workshop is designed for anyone who would like to just be prepared! The focus is on decorating a leaf-shaped coffin or shroud cover; something that reflects your life and passions, and that you can continue to work on if you wish. This can be used to cover a coffin or a shroud.
So why is it different to any other needle felting course?
It’s about intention and focus. As a felt maker, I have been making shrouds for nearly two decades. We will be working on large tables in my chapel workshop. You will be encouraged to gather imagery and materials that help you on your way to decorating a meaningful and beautiful covering, befitting to the person you are. This may be complex or very simple, or could be something that you would want to continue afterwards, and even to involve friends.
There will be an intentional atmosphere conducive of talking about death, burial, funerals and ceremony, similar to the very popular Death Cafe movement, but with the possibility of the unexpected as we work, discuss, share ideas over a more extended period.
“What could have been a very intense and challenging workshop was in fact a wonderful opportunity to learn, to play, to dare in the hands of someone who both is an artist and a true teacher, skilled in both respects. Yuli wants you to design the ideas in your head and enables this to happen with laughter, care and encouragement.“ S. Delfont 2017
About the workshop space – the chapel is rented from the Unitarians. It has all basic facilities and is wheelchair accessible. It’s a big, airy and beautiful space, with plenty of light. There’s a contemplative outdoor space, and beautiful Dartmoor walks on the doorstep. The town, with cafe’s, B&B’s, hotel and basic shopping is just down the street. There are other craft workshops and Greenhill Arts Centre nearby, and the Devon Guild is a 15 min drive down the road.
Timings – we gather at 5pm on the Friday for a cup of tea and short introductions and brief starter workshop, finishing at 7pm, so you can spend the rest of the evening as you wish.
Saturday and Sunday we start at 10am, finishing around 5pm on Saturday and 4pm on Sunday. I will provide a simple vegetarian lunch both days and there is tea and coffee whenever you need a break.
I am your course leader. I have been making shrouds since 1999, and co-founded Bellacouche in 2007 with Anne Belgrave. I have been a spinner, dyer, weaver and knitter before my incarnation into felt making in 1988. I have taught all these skills since the early 1980’s, either through private workshops or the Devon Guild.
“I‘m going to try to give you my feedback ( sorry I use google to help me vastly). Very intense moment of life and creation. I spent a moment out of time and at the same time, in the instant always. I did not really think about an idea, I came with several images … What was rich is to see and hear each of us and each implication. It will make its way, as our paths will perhaps cross, before our shroud I guess !” Marion, France.
“I’m finding the whole thing of creating a shroud in this way quite beautiful for what it is supposed to be aimed for. After all, death is part of our life and we are aspiring to make our lives creative as possible. I enjoyed observing that each of us had our own application in the subject matter for decorating a shroud, which was so interesting and amusing as well. To me it felt also important working as a group with such a subject matter, that this created a support for each other, therefor a bond that feels very valuable. I think we all felt that.” Marja.